Design-build precast concrete producers know that things don't always go as planned. They get hit with design change orders all the time, sometimes right before the fabricator starts bending and cutting rebar back in the shop. What gets impacted the most is rebar configuration, which results in major changes to drawings.Software developer Geopak has a neat tool that shows 3-D views of rebar in concrete elements while the precaster's in-house engineer works on a two-dimensional drawing. Geopak Rebar, which is part of the developer's Civil Engineering Suite of software, allows quick changes in highly detailed reinforcement layouts and simultaneously changes rebar lengths and quantities on accompanying charts.

The program offers a few other features that can make all the difference in a time crunch. Rebar is one program of several in the Civil Engineering Suite. Another program called Geopak Bridge 3-D models various types of bridge structures, including prestressed or post-tensioned concrete girder and segmental concrete box girder designs.